Round 8 of the Hong Kong Hockey Association Premier League took place last Sunday Nov 25, with three matches at Kings Park, one at HKFC and one at the Valley pitch. The star match of the weekend was the game between Khalsa-A, the current League Leaders, and the newly promoted, but strengthened Punja-A team.
This was a lightening fast game with accurate long passes, terrific stopping of the ball and amazing skills that delighted the good-sized crowd at Kings Park. Both teams prepared well for this important match. Khalsa-A was trying to maintain its unbeaten run, while the new boys to the Premier League, Punjab-A, had something to prove.
Both teams were playing at the top of their game and the atmosphere in the crowd was electric—members of teams playing earlier in the afternoon stopped to watch together with a wide range of supporters.
Khalsa opened their account with a signature Ahmed Ewis goal from a penalty corner, but Punjab-A soon equalised, also from a penalty corner. A deflection goal made it 2:1 to Khalsa at the interval. Punjab put a lot of pressure on the Khalsa defence, but could not break through to score. Taking more and more risks to attack, Punjab-A left themselves a bit open at the back and Khalsa cashed in with another two goals, making the final score 4:1.
Khalsa Manager Gurcharan Singh was pleased with their performance and also praised Punjab-A’s efforts.
“It was a heart-stopping game. Both teams played very, very well,” Singh told The Epoch Times.
“Punjab prepared really well for this game and [through] their lack of luck they could not score. We made use of our chances and players were told to focus on the game. Consistency is there and every player put their 100 per cent efforts into the game,” he explained.
Singh especially thanked their goalkeeper and supporters.
“The goalkeeper [Arvinder Singh] has been the team’s saviour for the past few weeks and we really appreciate his performance and the community supporting Khalsa is [getting is] really appreciated,” he said.
Ahmed Ewis scored three goals and Harry Bal scored one.
Meanwhile, League Champions HKFC-A coming off a 2-1 loss last week to League leaders Khalsa had the bit between their teeth and sharpened their game. Club were playing away against Valley-A led 4-2 at half-time and extended that lead to 9-2 by the end of the match.
Julian Lewis scored five goals in the match.
Club’s coach, Simon Chapman, talking with The Epoch Times, summed up the match and explained some of the improvements that they had made.
“It was a very fast, strong, powerful performance from Club,” said Chapman. “We had a very, very strong short corner routine this week, which made a big difference.
“We had JoJo drag-flicking, but we also used a deflection option and scored six short corner goals. They were very well executed and cleverly outplayed the goalkeeper.
“Julian Lewis scored four off the deflection, JoJo [Wolff] got a couple and Yan Adams got [a] couple as well. Julian Lewis scored five in the match.”
Simon was pleased with his team’s performance, especially after scores had been all tied up at one stage during the first half.
“Other than the two goals that Valley scored—which were both counter attack against the run of play—quite early on it was 2:0 and then 2:2 by about 20 minutes into the game. So, it was shaping up to be a pretty close and exciting game, but we stamped our authority and by half time it was 4:2. Then after that we never looked like losing,” he concluded.
Goals came at regular intervals in this match, SSSC-A were 3 goals to the good after 15 minutes of the game and the goals just kept flowing. It was 5:0 to SSC-A at half-time and the same pattern continued in the second half, with the final score 10:0. Elite fought on bravely, but nothing they tried to do seemed to pay off—it was just not their day.
After a fairly even first half, the score stood at 2:1 to Pak-A. A pass across the goalie produced the first goal for Pak-A with 18 minutes left of the first half. A penalty stroke to KCC was converted to make the score 1:1 with 13 minutes to go, but Pak-A produced another goal before half-time to make the score 2:1.
In the second half, goals came in quick succession. The first one was an own-goal by the KCC-A full back just two minutes into the half. Then Pak-A scored three more goals within a period of six minutes and two more in the last five minutes of the game. KCC also had their successes scoring twice in the last 10 minutes of the match, making the final score 8:3 to the Pakistan Association team.
Pak-A scorers were Ishtiaq Ahmed who scored 3 goals, Arshad Khan two goals, Mahmood Wajid two goals and Muhammad Wukas one goal.